#BetterBusiness: Forget screen-time guilt. Here’s how social media can drive societal change.

16 Feb 2021 | Culture

#BetterBusiness: Forget screen-time guilt. Here’s how social media can drive societal change.

By Issy Switala

Each month we look into some cool examples from brands embracing ‘better business’ and using their influence to have a positive impact on people and planet.

Digital technology has always played a vital role in our lives but this year it’s been more important than ever! With the majority of the population having been in some form of lockdown over the last year, it’s no wonder we’ve seen ourselves gravitate towards our phones, laptops and TV’s! We’ve used our screens for everything from family catch-ups to new business presentations and everything in between. During the peak of the pandemic, we saw people in the UK spending 40% of the waking day watching TV and using online video services. And while there may be light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not over just yet!

I took a look at my screen time the other day and was shocked at how long I’d been spending on TikTok! Social media and technology are now so ingrained in our society, we’re never going to eradicate it completely and why would we want to? The benefits and inspiration you can find is endless, so perhaps it’s a case of shifting the mindset that screens and social media are negative and start creating platforms that do good?

Here are some examples of social media doing amazing things and actively making the world a better place.

Two heads are better than one!

The latest form of collaboration was seen after athlete Jimmy Choi took to TikTok sharing his frustration about how difficult it is for people with Parkinson’s disease to pick up a pill. The video was found by videographer Brian Alldridge who sketched out a potential solution, then taught himself 3D modelling to turn the sketched idea into a prototype! The product isolates one pill in a tube and places it into a chute, allowing the individual to slide it directly into their mouth. Other TikTokers jumped on board and within a couple of days, an international team had printed, tested and repeated to the process, completely fine-tuning the design. They’re now working on getting the product mass-produced and selling dirt cheap so anyone that needs the product can get their hands on it.

This process of strangers coming together and creating a ‘life-saving product’, is social media at its best and shows the power it can have if it’s used positively. And this is something TikTok are promoting from within, they want to ‘inspire and encourage a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet and those around them’.

Sunday Funday

Our phones and social media are a form of addiction. I’m constantly picking up my phone to check Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. without a real reason to, nothing interesting is happening on a Tuesday afternoon, so why do I feel the need to?

US social media platform Sundayy have come up with a nifty solution to help you part with your phone during the week. The app is designed to be checked once a week – on a Sunday! While users can write reflections, thoughts or updates throughout the week, the idea is they are not immediately visible to their network. Then finally on Sunday, everything is revealed, allowing people to see what their friends and family have been up to, urging them to follow up offline with a call or a text. What’s great about this platform is it’s keeping the sense of self expression and connection without having to sift through ads, low-quality news and constant immediacy. The founders, Jill and Alex, say they want to encourage us to ‘spend time away from feeds, think deeper about our days and share what matters with the people who matter.’ I think as we come out of what has been a very difficult year for many people, we should hold onto that message!

Want to find out more about brands that are bettering the planet? Or have some interesting insights to share? Get in touch and let’s do Better Business together!